Netflix show is newest in ever-expanding Marvel universe and brings together Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist
The recent hold of caped crusaders over cinema has been unavoidable, but now a new Netflix show aims to push the boundaries of the superhero genre on television.
The Defenders, which has been described as the urban Avengers, is the latest show in the ever-expanding Marvel universe and is released on 18 August. It brings together the New York-dwelling outsider superheroes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist, who all had their own individual Netflix shows and unites them as a quartet to battle the crime syndicate known as The Hand.
The expensive production and ambition of the project confirms Netflixs commitment to superhero television. This week the streaming site announced it had acquired comic publisher Millarworld, whose roster includes Kick Ass, Kingsman and Wanted, in a move to own and develop its own universe of superhero TV series and films.
The Defenders began as a comic in the 1970s, with heroes such as Doctor Strange and the Hulk appearing throughout. It was discontinued but in January, ahead of the TV series debut, Marvel relaunched it as a comic book written by one of the comic book companys most popular writers, Brian Michael Bendis. He described it as a sprawling, Godfather-like epic at the street level of the Marvel universe based around a modern, elaborate organised crime story.
Marvels head of television, Jeph Loeb, said the decision to bring together the four heroes in a single, eight-episode TV show had been a challenging and risky undertaking. It had been based on the model of Marvel film The Avengers, which united Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America on the big screen after each starring in their own movies.